Musical Theatre Writer
"As a composer, you show enormous promise-- you have a wonderful gift for melody, great musicality, a good sense of how to use a chorus to make a song interesting; in short, I feel you have the potential for a real career as a theatre composer. Lucky you -- such talents are rarer than you know."
-- Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked, Godspell, The Baker's Wife and Prince of Egypt.
“For days now the melody and lyrics … have been ringing in my head, and will not be dislodged. The song is just one of the many pleasures of your compilation CD.”
— Herbert Kretzmer, lyricist of Les Miserables.
— Richard Maltby Jr., lyricist of Miss Saigon, Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever.
"You write exceptionally well -- the music is attractive and your lyrics are good -- and thank heaven for really accurate rhymes and excellent structure."
-- Dillie Keane, Fascinating Aida.
“I have known Mel for what is coming up to 10 years. During that time, I have observed his constant enthusiasm for writing, and a progression in standard which is, frankly, staggering. He is extremely prolific and writes beautiful melodies, as well as charming and witty lyrics.”
-- Janie Dee, Olivier award winning actress (Carousel, Comic Potential)
Mel Atkey has been writing musicals ever since he was in high school in his native Vancouver. He was a finalist for the Musical of the Year competition in Aarhus, Denmark, and his work has been short-listed for the Vivian Ellis Prize, the Quest for New Musicals, the Ken Hill Prize and Musical Stairs. His first musical, Shikara, was produced on radio in Canada, and is now available on CD. A single was released of one of the songs, "Far Away", and received airplay across Canada and the U.S. He has written music for two off-Broadway musicals, O Pioneers and A Little Princess about which the New York Times said, "Mel Atkey, who wrote the score and lyrics, has composed lovely music". His two-character musical Perfect Timing was a finalist in the Musical of the Year competition in Aarhus, Denmark, and was showcased at Greenwich Theatre, London. He earned his MA in Musical Theatre from Goldsmiths University of London in 2016 with the musical The Last Queen of Paradise. His current project is I can Fly My Kite to the Moon. He has also turned to writing books, beginning with When We Both Got to Heaven, and Broadway North: The Dream of a Canadian Musical Theatre. In 2012 he published a new book, A Million Miles from Broadway: Musical Theatre Beyond New York and London. Running Away with the Circus (or, "Now is the Winter of our Missing Tent") was published in 2013. In 2014, he published Something Magic -- Mel Atkey and the Musical Theatre, a folio of 30 of the songs from his musicals. Most recently, he published a collection of articles on musical theatre called Breaking Into Song.
Mel Atkey's demos have featured up and coming stars in the musical theatre, including John Barr, Clare Burt and Jessica-Snow Wilson. He has also written special cabaret material for Olivier award winning actress Janie Dee. To download the CD Far Away and Other Songs, click:
To hear samples of Mel Atkey's music, please visit his MySpace site.
To read Mel Atkey's blog click here.
To purchase sheet music for a selection of Mr. Atkey's songs, please click here.
To download an audio profile of Mel Atkey, please click here. To listen to a podcast about Mel Atkey, please click here. To watch a video documentary of Mel Atkey's work, please click here. You can see video excerpts from his works, including promo trailers for Shikara and A Little Princess, as well as music videos for "Second Chances" and "Never Fear" (from O Pioneers!) and "Picasso" (from the forthcoming Poor Little Rich Girl Sings the Blues) by clicking on these links: